All Pakistan Meat Exporters and Processors Association (APMEPA) Chairman Nasib Ahmad Saifi has urged the government to take notice of rampant smuggling and export of livestock, which is pushing prices of meat higher in the domestic market and also hitting hard the meat processing and export industry due to non-availability of animals in required quantity and competitive prices.

He demanded for a ban on export of live animals and adoption of strong measures to curb the smuggling. “This will ensure sufficient supply to the meat processing and export units, which are set up in the country with billions of rupees investment,” he said while talking to Business Recorder here on Monday.

Saifi claimed that approximately 300 trawlers of animals were being smuggled to Afghanistan and Iran on daily basis through Chaman and Taftan borders. He also alleged that the Iranian buyers come to animal markets in Multan and Bahawalpur to purchase the animals and on advance payment, local traders smuggle animals to the destination.

He observed that controlling of animal smuggling will help the meat processing sector and 14 ancillary industries associated with this sector to grow. “This will not only generate thousands of new jobs in the country, but its contribution to the national exchequer in shape of duties and taxes will also increase. Moreover, through export of value-added meat products, the government will receive foreign exchange. In a nutshell, it will be a win-win situation for both the national economy and the meat processing sector,” he added.

Saifi said the Association is urging the government to take steps to control livestock smuggling in order to create a favourable environment so that the meat processing sector could exploit the opportunities exist in the multi-billion dollars international halal market.

The APMEPA leader also drew the attention of the authorities towards opening up of new slaughter houses despite the Association’s call of banning it. He claimed that the existing slaughter houses are not working to their full capacity and hence there is no justification for establishing more.

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